The European Central Bank (ECB) said yesterday that the switch from the Cyprus pound and Maltese liri to the euro is completed.
During the transition period, the euro or legacy currencies could be used in making payments. Feb. 1, 2008 marked the date where the euro became the only allowed legal tender currency for both countries.
The people of Cyprus and Malta adopted the euro on Jan. 1, 2008. The one-month dual circulation period went smoothly. According to the ECB,
"The cash changeover evolved in both countries as planned and no unforeseen circumstances occurred. Hence there was no need for the changeover plans to be adjusted. The progress achieved during the dual circulation period bears witness to the efficiency and effectiveness of the preparatory work …"
"… Because of the consistent withdrawal of the national legacy banknotes and extensive frontloading of euro banknotes, around half of the banknotes in circulation in both countries were euro banknotes by the end of the first day. Around 80% of the national banknotes have now been withdrawn from circulation in both countries."
With Cyprus and Malta added to the euro zone, the total population using the euro is now around 320 million people. The 13 European Union countries who preceded Cyprus and Malta in adopting the euro were: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland.